Lights Out

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Scamper to the window,

Swipe aside the dusty curtain.

I am not the only one looking out into the night.

I hold one of the sets of eyes straining to learn if I live in the pitch black alone.

But in our powerless solidarity, we are not alone.

We, the people who pay the bills expecting energy in return, are not alone.

As the ice thickens around every outside object in this frigid downpour,

I indoors shiver, knowing the ice in my freezer will eventually thaw.

The sun rises again,

And bare branches and power lines encapsulated in ice catch the new day’s light.

We borrow natural illumination because our own lamps can’t shine themselves.

We turn to collective prayer that the lines will become live again,

But that prayer is action,

Calling our loved ones with the last moments of phone battery, our sign of true love.

Ice did not turn out my lights,

Codified greed did.

Power lines can’t repair themselves,

But as some people’s pursuit of earthly wealth destroys the earth,

Mother Earth is healing herself in the only way she knows how:

Melting the glaciers, scorching the land,

Saving herself.

Once-in-a-lifetime storms are part of her eternity.

And she will adapt to keep her own lights on, regardless of what we do in our darkness.


Rachel is a new resident of Detroit; hailing from Los Angeles. Her big Mexican family instilled a passion to care for others in all she does. She graduated from the University of Southern California with Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Public Policy. She currently works as a Policy Analyst with We The People Action Fund to support the creation of happy and healthy communities for all. She enjoys creating art through poetry, music, videos, and cocktails.